I consider myself blessed. Fortunate. Lucky. (What are you allowed to say nowadays?) The leadership team at my church is a wonderful group of loving people, who recognise that their staff and volunteers are a significant asset, care about them as people first, and will do whatever it takes to protect a healthy culture.
Now I appreciate that won't be the case in every church. That might not be the case in your church, and if you find yourself the victim of unrealistic expectations then you may be headed for burnout.
Volunteers, especially in churches, are good at burning out. There's a lot to do, not enough people to do it, and we really care. So we just get on with it, even at the expense of our own physical and mental health, or the health of our relationships and families.
If you're anything like me, you'll spend a lot of the worship preparation time you have available thinking about the very next service that's coming up. That's an exhausting place to be – working from week to week leaves no breathing space for unexpected interruptions.
My suggestion for improving the situation, is to implement systems.
Putting systems in place will give you repeatable, predictable tasks to perform that will help every area of your worship ministry.
A song planning system means you can identify at a glance which songs are overdue another airing and which ones might be ready to be retired.
A team recruitment system means you're not caught off-guard when a new singer or musician approaches you about joining the group – you'll know the next steps. Growth and development systems mean your team will continue to develop musically, spiritually and relationally. If you can train up more leaders, you'll free up more time for yourself!
A rostering system means you should be able to minimise those occasions when you're scratching around for team.
Identify your pinch points and problem areas. In most cases, having a well implemented system should alleviate the pressure, and make the difference between feeling prepared, calm and clear-headed, or feeling unprepared, frustrated and stretched.